Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Plastic in Question

Since 1999 Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang have been visiting 1000 yards of Kehoe Beach in the Point Reyes National Sea Shore. They have rambled this one remote beach hundreds of times to gather plastic debris washing out of the Pacific Ocean. By carefully collecting and "curating" the bits of plastic, they fashion it into works of art— art that matter-of-factly shows, with minimal artifice, the material as it is. The viewer is often surprised that this colorful stuff is the thermoplastic junk of our throwaway culture. As they have deepened their practice they’ve found, like archeologists, that each bit of what they find opens into a pinpoint look at the whole of human culture. Each bit has a story to tell.

July 21- October 11, for the San Francisco Public Library - Main Branch the Lang’s are posing five important questions about the pervasive role plastic has come to play in contemporary life. In vitrines and display boards they will explore the answers to:

Where is away, as in, throw away?
What’s the true cost of plastic?
Where did this plastic come from and how did it get to the beach?
What’s love got to do with it?
What to do about the problem of plastic pollution?

Viewers to the exhibition will be encouraged to take personal responsibility for their daily use of plastic, bringing “refuse” into the conversation about reduce, reuse, recycle.


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